Forsythia (Forsythia suspensa
) is an attractive deciduous shrub native to China. Forsythia fruits have been used in Chinese traditional medicine for anti-inflammatory and antipyretic activities related to the treatment of bacterial infections and upper respiratory tract conditions. The fruits are also used for the diuretic activities. The major active chemicals in forsythia fruits include forsythiaside (a type of caffeic acid glycoside), lignans (phylligenin and pinoresinol), and triterpenes. Forsythia leaves and fruits contain several phenolics, and rutin (a significant flavonoid).
: The fruit contains high amounts of calcium (4,380 ppm), potassium (9,560 ppm), iron (440 ppm) and magnesium (1,160 ppm).
: Forsythiaside, a main active component in forsythia, has been reported to inhibit growth of Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa
and Staphylococcus aureus
: Adding 100 mg/kg of forsythia extract (FSE) to the diet of 144 broilers, for 7 days showed that it enhanced nutrient digestibility and performance in chickens, by reducing oxidative stress and immune depression challenged by corticosterone (CS). Two separate studies conducted on 276 and 252 broilers, respectively, showed that adding 100 mg/kg of forsythia extract (FSE) to the diet improved growth performance even during high ambient temperatures, likely by enhancing immunity, reducing oxidative stress, and promoting good bacteria to colonize the digestive tract of the birds.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
: TCM attributes include bitter in flavor and slightly cold in properties. It is associated with the lung, heart and gall bladder. Its essential functions include clearing away heat and toxic materials, reducing swelling, and dissipating nodules. Main forsythia uses and indications are wind-heat type common cold, febrile disease, anuria in heat strangury, boils and carbuncles, pyogenic infections, scrofula, goiter and tumor, and pharyngitis.